Philippines Airlines PR 535 from Manila (MNL) to Jakarta (CGK)

In front of Gate 11 waiting to fly.
Philippine Airlines PR 535 had arrived.
Came on in!

“Ms, sorry I sit at No. 38K”, I greeted a tired looking young woman who leaning her head against the window.

“Excuse me, can I exchange it or not?”, began to guess that she was Javanese because of her typical accent.

“Sorry, Ms. It’s better to sit according to seat number which be shown in boarding pass. Let it be in accordance with the manifest. Anticipating that something might happen while flying, I happened to need to take some pictures from the window seat,” I quietly said. Although I understoodd that this plane wouldn’t be completely full.

Slightly swayed, she came out of the row of seat and let me take the seat and she was still pouting in the aisle seat.

“Hmmh, she’s cute when pouting, maybe more beautiful when she smile”, my mind said, I mischief started to relapse.

Every passenger’s face twisted, perhaps because the flight was delayed for up to five hours. I thought that a compensation for a piece of bread only happened in Indonesia. It turned out that a compensation for a meat burger for the delay also happened in Manila….I wryly smiled, because I had lost my appetite. How could, I just got on the plane at twelve o’clock at night, then a short message was sent from my manager, He was hoping that I could attend the inauguration of the new office building at nine o’clock on the morning in Jakarta.

Yess, I got the right for my seat.
The NAIA apron area as seen from the window.
Bustle around the apron.

Even though I was already happy by arriving on time at Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 15:30 hours to welcoming Philippine Airlines flight PR 535 at nine o’clock in the evening. I understood the wrong date in my passport and the missing flight number on airport’s LCD screen. But I was so excited when I heard the news that I would still go to fly in the middle of night due to the impact of Mount Taal eruption in the Tagatay area.

I knew the magnitude of this eruption impact after three weeks of my returning to my hometown. My client, a Filipino national, was flying with Cebu Pacific when the eruption occurred. She said that The “Yellow White Blue” plane seemed to be sucked down and then dived upwards with an incoherent announcement from flight captain. Only after landing, the Cebu Pacific captain apologized for the incident in air due to volcanic eruption.

That night I was very tired, after taking some necessary pictures, I automatically felt asleep. Extreme exhaustion and missed for my home food made this flight was been the most comfortable flight since I left home three weeks earlier.

Being on the Manila sky.
Goodbye Manila, see you soon Philippines!.
Do you know the meaning of Mabuhay? ….”Life or long life”
FPML (Fruit Platter Meal)….Let’s had dinner before sleeping.

The 2,800 km flight with an average speed of 700 km per hour lasts in 3 hours 55 minutes. That night I closed the windoe tightly and hoped that when I opened my eyes, I would be in Jakarta.

There wasn’t special story that I got from this flight. It was just in that night I felt very relieved because during my journey to Malaysia, India and the Middle East region went very smoothly without the slightest problem. This trip added to my courage and calm to dream of welcoming Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhtan, Turkmenistan and their neighbors in the future.

But who knows, I didn’t even know that the pandemic would come, even it happened whem I wasn’t in my country but when I was in Dubai. A dream that had definitely been delayed for soe times.

Ancol coast in the early morning.
Getting ready to landing.
Smoothly touchdown.

Then why did I choose Philippine Airlines? Wasn’t is that an expensive airline for you, Donny?

I never even dreamed of riding that flag carrier, maybe God had blessed me by showing me the cheapest ticket in my search button on a ticket reservation application. A coincidence that made me happy. This was the tenth wide body plane I’ve boarded after

Air Asia Korea to Kuala Lumpur…

Thai Airways Jakarta Bangkok, Bangkok-Kathmandu, New Delhi-Bangkok and Bangkok-Jakarta….

Srilankan Airlines Mumbai-Colombo, Kochi-Colombo, Colombo-Dubai ….and

Swiss Air Dubai-Muscat.

Thank God for safely landing me.
Oh, Kampung Rambutan….I love you.

Alternatives to finding flight tickets from Manila to Jakarta can be found on 12Go or the following link : https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

THE END

Public Bus from EDSA LRT Station to NAIA

If you heed the existence of taxis, then leaving Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to downtown isn’t an easy matter. On the other hand, returning to NAIA from downtown turned out to be the same. I hope that the airport train at NAIA is immediately built.

I asked a young man at a 7-Eleven minimarket, there was no bus and a Jeepney to NAIA, “Will be better if you use a taxi to the airport, Sir”, was his short answer. Likewise bus timers, “No…No…No”, he briefly answered without looking at my face at all, maybe they didn’t understand English or I didn’t know myself because I didn’t understand Tagalog.

I saw two police officers in blue uniforms controlling traffic under the LRT line, not far from EDSA LRT Station. I hurried across Epifano de los Santos Avenue to facing the two of them.

“Can you help me, Sir? I want to go to airport. Which bus should I take?” I asked as politely as possible, I didn’t want to cause any trouble at the end of my trip back home.

“Use that bus, it will stop at that pole”, he pointed to a bus which a second ago drove in front of three of us. Then pointed to a pole near 7-Eleven minimarket where I had lunch earlier.

“Thank you, Sir,” I happily said because I had just found my way home.

15 minutes later, the bus came and without hesitation I boarded it after the conductor confirmed that he could drop me off at NAIA Terminal 1. A coincidence that made me happy, because I had to take my backpack first at Terminal 1 before leaving for Jakarta from Terminal 2.

Getting in through its front door and out from back door.

Paying the fare with 30 Peso, I headed to NAIA via streets of Manila. Didn’t imagine about how like to driving in Manila. Never mind, just likes Jakarta. Manila, which is the busiest city in Asia, had made the bus I was riding choked up along the road towards airport. “Luckily for me, I didn’t insist on going to Manila Baywalk. I can’t imagine, I might arrive when it’s dark at NAIA”, I thought with relief.

Choking in a straight road, fulfilling the road, being stuck at every intersection, stopping at every red light made that afternoon so boring and exciting at the same time. Boring because of often experienced like it in Jakarta, exciting because I was getting the same thing in other country.

Kept closer…..
Honda Click, Yamaha Aerox, Suzuki Raider….Several motorcycle brands on the streets of Manila.

The all-red bus which I was riding then replaced the boredom I experienced along the way by parking itself at a giant bus terminal. Titled as PITX, it acts as a transportation hub for every bus, jeepney and any public transportation which will go to south of Manila. This transportation integration building looks dashing and still looks new. Understandably, just two years i operation.

Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
Getting closer to NAIA….Almost arrived.

The clock almost pointed to number fifteen, I arrived at NAIA Terminal 1, bus conductor dropped me off right at a small bus stop where I left NAIA that morning. My face couldn’t hide the joy because Jakarta seemed to be in my eyes. Twenty-one days wasn’t a short time to leaving home to foreign places which separated by wide ocean.

I took a backpack and went home.

Hunting for souvenirs on Metro Point, Manila

I still enjoyed nostalgia by enjoying a serving of Busog Meal Tuna Omelette in one of 7-Eleven outlets at Epiphanio de Los Santos Avenue side, packaging rice which became my daily food when visiting Manila four years ago. Cheap, only 32 Peso I could enjoy lunch amid the hustle and bustle of Manila.

At later, I began to climb the nearest crossing bridge. Citizen steps so quickly passed the crossing bridge, most of them didn’t escape to pay attention to me who preferred to be stop in the middle of bridge and looked at road congestion of one of its fence.

That afternoon I canceled myself to visiting Manila Baywalk, I didn’t dare to take the risk of stuck in traffic jam and left behind the plane to return to Jakarta. In an hour in the future I would only struggle around EDSA LTR station and immediately return to NAIA.

My trip on four years ago didn’t bring souvenirs, on that time Manila became my first destination before heading to Hong Kong, Macao and Shenzen. Everywhere, people usually would look for souvenirs at the end of traveling. And now Manila was my final destination of my adventure, then I decided to looking for it.

Busog Meal Tuna Omelette.
The crossing bridge towards EDSA LRT station.
Enjoying congestion in Manila.
Metro point sightings from crossing bridge.

Now my attention was fixed on a shopping centre which is right adjacent and directly connected to EDSA LRT station. I slightly stopped to watching the station, remembering when I was searched before entering that station four years ago because I was too focus in photographing each side thus raised suspicion of security. Manila was indeed a little tight in security of every important public access.

I just passed the station gate and walked into the connector towards Metro Point. The shopping centre which isn’t large enough. What I remembered that it only consisted of five floors. On the second floor there is a row of stores which are neater than counters at downstairs. Downstairs is the floor which allows me to finding souvenirs. I couldn’t explore the top floor, because there was a large outlet guarded by Security. Maybe the third floor is used for businesses which are more private and targeting certain customers.

Practically I just went around downstairs and looked for some souvenirs, fridge magnets and key chains which I would share for my friends in Jakarta.

The situation at Metro Point.
Time Zone.
The tip of floor which looked quiet.

It didn’t take long to spend every side of ground floor. Trading on ground floor was more similar to the same activity in Pasar Baru, Jakarta. Very crowded. After finding some souvenirs I finally decided to get out of shopping center and prepared to get back to NAIA and then flied to Jakarta.

Crowded counters on ground floor.
Ground floor.

I thought that my time in Manila that time had become a nostalgic transit even though it only for three hours in the middle of the city’s busy life.

Public Transportation from NAIA to Downtown Manila

Like in my first visitation to Manila on 2016, this time my transit visitation would go to the same first place, EDSA LRT Station.

For some reason, EDSA LRT Station was always the first place I pointed to when looking at the city’s transportation map. As if that place is the easiest way to reach from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Then from the station, I can go wherever I want to explore Manila.

EDSA stands for Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, the name of street which passes under the station. While Epifano de los Santos is the name of a famous Filipino historian and journalist.

Alright…Let’s went to EDSA LRT Station and got to know it better.

Outside the terminal building, a white uniformed security guard with high-powered firearms called out to me. They apparently noticed that I was hesitant to choose a direction. As I recall, to ride a Jeepney to downtown, I had to turn left from terminal exit gate liked during my 2016 visitation to Manila. Or maybe I got off at a different terminal.

Security : “Hello Sir, come here, please!”, he said with a firm and fierce expression.

Me: “Yes, Sir”, I approached slowly, rather than causing a bigger problem.

Security : “Show your passport to me!”, he sharply looked at me.

Me: “This”, I handed it over firmly and boldly.

Security : “Where do you go in Manila?”, he asked while handing me my passport

Me : “Can you show me, Where should I stop a bus or a jeepney to Manila Baywalk?”.

Security : “It will be better if you go to EDSA station, then you can go to Manila Baywalk from there”, he pointed to a street to the right of terminal building.

Me: “Thanks, Sir”

Security : “In Manila, if you don’t know Tagalog language, It will be better if you ask to the bus driver about their destination”

Me: “Oh okay I see”.

I exited the NAIA Terminal 1 building.
It was at this small bus stop which I waited for the city bus to go to EDSA LRT Station.

I kept watching every city bus which passed, I kept looking for EDSA writing on every bus windshield. Fifteen minutes without finding it, I ventured to start asking every bus which stopped to picking up passengers.

Me: “EDSA Station, sir?”.

Conductor : “No No No”,

The question and answer kept repeating until some city buses didn’t care about me because I wasn’t the passenger. Until finally, a cream colored bus with a combination of blue arrived with the nameplates for Boni, Ortigas, Cubao and finally EDSA hanging in a row down on its windshield. It seemed that those were the names of LRT/MRT stations which the bus passed through.

Me: “EDSA?”

Conductor: “Come in!”

I entered the bus and sat in the middle seat on the right. On the dashboard above was clearly written Jayross Lucky Seven, the name of bus company. Fairly comfortable city bus, air-conditioned and LCD TV at the front. Shortly after sitting down, liked most buses in Indonesia, the conductor approached me and charged me 30 Peso.

Finally found a bus to EDSA LRT Station.
Sat and got ready to enjoying the streets of Manila.

Ah, I would be skipping the Jeepney trip this time. “It’s okay, I’ll take a Jeepney to NAIA when I get back later,” my mind won over. But somehow, I suddenly got up from my seat when the conductor shouted “EDSA….EDSA….EDSA”. I received information that I had arrived and I had to get off, the conductor certainly didn’t know the destination of the passengers one by one, so he let me walked down from front door.

The bus left me. There was no sign of the existence of LRT line which was clearly memorized in my memory from my first visitation. “It’s not here yet,” I thought with a wry smile, until a Jeepney approached. “EDSA?” I shouted at the driver. “Come on!”, he simply answered. I went up through back door. I didn’t know street’s number of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue when got on to Jeepney. Finally, I got to ride again the most popular mode of transportation among Filipino people. Now I paid less because the distance was close to destination, only 10 Peso. Five minutes later I arrived at EDSA LRT Station.

Riding the Jeepney again.
Jeepney interior, looks like an angkot (public tranportation in Jakarta), right?
Where the Jeepney stops and departs.

I was just amazed by tbusy activities of Manila citizens that afternoon. Similar to streets around Pasar Senen, Jakarta. For a long time I stood in an open stall  which selling fresh fruit. Paying attention to traffic jams, Jeepneys which the middle and lower class people were scrambling for and LRT Line 1 going back and forth above my head.

Ah, the beautiful and short transit time I have and enjoyed……

This was the EDSA LRT Station….What did it look like? Good or usual?

Wrong Date at Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Serving 47 million passengers every year.

Philippine Airlines flight number PR 685 smoothly landed on one of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)’s runways. This large-bodied aircraft gallantly taxied to the apron at Terminal 1. This plane should have landed at Terminal 2, because it was in the process of being renovated, the terminal was diverted. Terminal 1 itself is the mainhub of Cebu Pacific airline, while the mainhub of Philippine Airlines is in Terminal 2.

This wasn’t my first landing in Philippines because I had visited this country four years ago. Now I have landed at NAIA again, not for a visitation but only for transit before actually arriving in Jakarta. And this is Donny who didn’t want his transit only used to staying at the airport….Yes, I would go to downtown within 7 hours of the transit time.

The name Ninoy Aquino International Airport itself is dedicated to Ninoy Aquino Jr who was killed in Terminal 1 after returning from exile in United States on 1983.

The atmosphere of Christmas celebrations still felt at conveyor belt area.
Tourist Information Center.
Arrival Hall.

PR 685 slowly passed through the hangar belonging to Lufthansa Technik Philippines, Inc. which is an aircraft maintenance service company at this airport, then passed a row of yellow airlines “Cebu Pacific” which is the Low Cost Carrier (LCC) of the pride of Duterte’s country, through Terminal 2 Domestic Departure and finally stopped at Terminal 1.

The beautiful Philippine Airlines staff carried a small sign that said “transfer” and stood in the middle of corridor to collect passengers who would continue their flight to their next destination. They would be taken by Airport Shuttle Transfer Service to Terminal 2. I who stated that I wanted to go to downtown during transit was given a piece of paper which must be filled out and would be attached with a ticket to Jakarta to be submitted to immigration counter.

Immigration Staff : “Where will you go in transit time?”.

Me : “Manila Baywalk, S”

Immigration Staff : “What for?”

Me : “Just sightseeing, Sir”.

A brief conversation at immigration counter which got me through with Philippines immigration stamp on my green passport. I had to ask an Aviation Security officer to find a luggage storage location to put my backpack to make my steps easier to get to downtown. I handed over 20 Peso to Baggage Assistance Counter and they put my backpack on its shelf.

Hunting Peso in money changer.
Baggage Assistance Counter.
Luggage storage racks belonging to Orbit Air Systems (The ground handling company at NAIA).

Passing the exit gate, I headed to a counter belonging to PLTD Enterprise which offered free SIM cards with “Smart 5G” brand for travelers. I politely declined the data package they offered because I only needed GPS service from this prepaid SIM card.

Departure

After finishing a short tour of the city, I was dropped off by city bus driver at Terminal 1. Saving time, I headed to luggage storage area and grabbed my backpack. Then go to Airport Shuttle Transfer Service waiting room to moving to Terminal 2, the terminal where I would fly to Jakarta.

Terminal 2 itself was completed in 1998 and was nicknamed Centennial Terminal because its completion coincided with the centennial anniversary of Philippines’ declaration of independence from Spanish colonial rule. This terminal was originally designed by Aéroports de Paris.

In front of Terminal 2, I was dropped off. Many location points were covered by project boards, indicating that this terminal was being renovated. The remaining pesos which failed to be exchanged at Terminal 1 money changer on reason that money which I exchanged was in small denominations, was finally able to be exchanged at a money changer outside Terminal 2 building. Now Peso has turned into US Dollars.

A little incident happened at immigration counter, an immigration officer of Spanish descent was a little confused and asked other immigration staff. It turned out that the date stamped on my passport when I entered Manila this morning was still tomorrow’s date.

ArDirections to Airport Shuttle Transfer Service Terminal 1.
Airport Shuttle Transfer Service @Terminal 1.
Drop off zone in Terminal 2.

Immigration Staff : “When do you entering Manila? “.

Me: “Last morning, Sir”.

Immigration Staff : “Why don’t you check the date?”

Me: “What’s wrong, Sir”.

Immigration Staff : “The date in your free visa is tomorrow”.

Me: “Oh I’m sorry, I don’t aware about it”

Immigration Staff : “Can you show your arrival and departure boarding pass?”

Me: “These are, sir”

Immigration Staff : “Okay, It’s no problem. You can go”.

Finally I was allowed to leaving Manila and preparing to return to my hometown. I felt very calm, having arrived three hours before boarding time. But for hours sitting in the waiting room, I didn’t immediately find my flight number PR 535 on the LCD information screen. I ventured into the Mabuhay Lounge to inquire about the official schedule of my flight to a Philippine Airlines staff on duty at reception lounge. She said that my flight had a delay which couldn’t be announced until when, but I was shown the gate number where I had to wait which was Gate 11.

I just sat at Gate 11 for a while, when I heard an announcement that the flight was postponed until 23:00 hours due to flight traffic disruptions as a effect of the eruption of Mount Taal in Tagaytay area.

Check-in counter.
Departure Hall.
Laptop station.
Mabuhay Lounge.
Waiting room in front of Gate 11.

Exactly at 23:00 hours, I started boarding and left many impressions at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Thank you NAIA, see you later.

Philippine Airlines PR 685 from Doha (DOH) to Manila (MNL)

PR 685 flight path (source: https://www.radarbox.com).

If you want to feel the sensation of riding the first commercial airline in Asia, then take Philippine Airlines, then you will automatically be honored to have boarded the oldest airline in the Asian continent. And Philippine Airlines became the 28th airline which I boarded throughout my journey as a backpacker.

Starting with a small incident that was quite embarrassing. That afternoon, the area in front of check-in counter looked vacant, then after flight number PR 685 had the status “open”, I strolled through lane which was formed by boarder tape.

And suddenly there was a loud voice….

“Hi, please queue, Sir!” a ground staff reprimanded me who automatically braked my steps. He pointed to the queue of passengers from Philippines that started from a building pole. They all laughed at me and lowered my face in shame. Trying to smile but still unable to hide the frown on my face, I passed the passengers who were almost the entire queue laughing at me. Until finally, I was standing in the queue, far behind.

Check-in counter.
The 11th ticket in my year-end adventure.

Leaving the check-in area and finishing my business at the immigration counter, my steps were halted for a moment.

“Where are you from, Sir?”, I said in Indonesia language to two middle-aged men who had been holding a green passport with a picture of an eagle. “Oh, there are Indonesians here, brother,” said one of them to his friend. I just smiled to warm the situation.

“Is you taking Qatar Airways flight too, right?”, the question that may wish that three of us could fly in one plane. “I stopped by in Manila, Sir, I take Philippine Airlines flight, my final destination is Jakarta. Where are you going? “, I briefly asked before parting. They seemed busy in putting their immigration document, passport and ticket into their bag. “We are from Surabaya, Sir”, his warm smile made me feel not far from home.

According to them, they were on an assignment to Doha from their company. Whereas, I confidently replied that I had just finished backpacking alone in Middle East. “Wow, that’s great, Sir, traveling alone”, they said closing-sentence before we parted towards our respective gates.

Then I went down the escalator and passed the duty free zone around the “Lamp Bear” mascot. Continued again by taking the escalator to take the skytrain to concourse D. Finding the gate I was referring to, then I sat down while munching remaining parathas for dinner while waiting for Philippine Airlines to pick up me.

Exactly on 20:45 hours, I started boarding through aerobridge. I entered the plane from left cabin corridor. Once seated in 39K window seat, my dream of the grandeur of plane cabin that from the beginning when I was buying ticket finally disappeared. It turned out that this plane wasn’t equipped with LCD screens on each seat. You could imagine, this long flight of 7,277 km will definitely be boring. But finally I said okay to myself, “Just enjoying your flight with happiness, Donny”.

Airbus 330-300.
Wings which flaunt valor.
Started to looking for a seat.
Well here it is, my seat for 9 hours 35 minutes.

I sat next to a big woman on the left, while at the end of the row, have sat a middle-aged man of opposite stature, tall and thin. Ninety percent of passengers were of course Filipino nationals. Because this was their country’s plane.

I kept an eye on a stewardess with bob hair, purple lipstick and slender body. Who doubts the beauty of pinays, Philippines is indeed a producer of beautiful women in the world…. Hmhh.

Befora demonstrating the flight safety procedures, flight attendants  distributed amenities in the form of blankets, towels, brushes and toothpaste. I started reading some of the safety procedures on this Airbus plane. Read the fight magazine and prepared for the second dinner after take-off.

Thanks 12Go.
Goodbye Hamad International Airport.
Blanket for each passenger.
Mabuhay….Inflight magazine owned by Philippine Airlines.

“Sir, I have ordered the menu. My menu should be a Jain Meal, not Seafood Meal, Sir”, I asked to a flight attendant. “Dinner menu must be ordered 3 hours before flight, Have you ordered it?”, he answered. “Oh okay, Sir, It’s my wrong”, I replied.

Dinner menu: rice and seafood.
It turned out that my order of Jean Meal came out in the morning with coffee…Oh my God.
Wasn’t it beautiful, the stretch of golden lines formed by Doha earth lamp? Look at the waters of Persian Gulf!.

After all passengers finished with their respective dinners, the cabin crew started asking every passenger who sitting in the window seat to close the window. Ah, I didn’t listen to orders, instead I noticed the pretty face of flight attendant who I had admired since the beginning of this flight. I just realized the order when a flight attendant continuously smiled and pointed at my window while raising and lowering her index finger as a signal for me to close it immediately…. The incident made the passenger next to me laugh….Was I messed up, hahaha?.

That night my flight was very smooth without turbulence. The pilot informed to all passengers that we was traveling in a plane at a speed of 800 km per hour. Extraordinary. That night I didn’t sleep well, and was anxiously waiting to arrive in Manila. On a time,  I didn’t know where I was next, but flight attendants went back around cabin corridor and asked every passenger in window seat to open the window again.

This was a natural drama that I have experienced for first time. I closed the window in complete darkness and suddenly opened it in the bright light. Like a magic game in the sky, looked like that the sun seemed to appear sooner than normal.

Good morning….I didn’t know where I was?.
The mountain which stood out in the crowd of clouds….Amazing.

The queue at each toilet were so long. With a stutter, I began to queue. I had to brush my teeth and wipe my face with warm water before landing. This was brushing teeth on an airplane for the first time in my life.

Shortly after sitting back down, the pilot informed that the Philippines’ flag carrier would soon land at its main hub, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The airline with the logo of two blue and red sails symbolizing the nation’s flag and an eight-ray yellow sunburst would land at Terminal 1 as planned.

Preparing to landing in Manila.

The plane smoothly landed on the runway and then taxied with a quick view of the hustle and bustle of airport. I deserved to thank for the services of this 79 year old airline.

Miss Cebu Pacific….Remember riding it four years ago..
Thank you Philippine Airlines “The Heart of the Filipino”.

Time to transited and exploring Manila in short time.

Came on….. Traveling again!

Alternatives for flight tickets from Doha to Manila can be found on 12Go or the following link: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Free Attractions Around Intramuros

2 January 2016.

Jalur Keliling Intramuros (Eng)

8:17am, I finished to check-in at Where2Next Hostel. Initially I would to go by LRT, but finally I decided to walk. A whole day I would visit venues in Intramuros. Distance from hostel to Intramuros is about 3.5 km and  I can reach by walk in 45 minutes…. but I stopped at several places, so it would be a long trip and would finish until afternoon.

The first impression of seeing the Philippine streets is…. “Jakarta is better” … .No far yet I walked along Adriatico Street, I found a child was still sleep on a bed of cardboard at sidewalk.

But I still could enjoy, because my traveling goal is to find the behaviors of the city … .. so I don’t look for something that always beautiful and nice.

I also found Arabic Kitchen Restaurant on this avenue …… just through….not for eat there….hahaha.

Rizal Monument.

After walking about 1,8 km to the northwest of Where2Next Hostel, I arrived at Rizal Park. But the tourist spot wasn’t the park, but the spot was Rizal Monument, because there was soldiers guarding this monument, so it becames a attraction for tourists.

CIMG1685

And a adding view for me was the Philippines giant flag on this monument. Yes, that’s my habit when traveling … .. looking for a giant flag of the country to photograph spot.

National Museum

After satisfied in Rizal Monument, I walked again about 1 km along Padre Burgos Avenue towards the National Museum. Before arriving at the National Museum, actually I through the Planetarium, because of wasn’t my destination, yesss I passed it.

CIMG1703

Free entrance for the National Museum. So I would be satisfied here. It is supposed to do …. The mandatory venue that must be visited in every country is their national museum. Because you can know the their history.

Dodger…. hahaha …..besides looking for giant flags, my habit is visiting free tourist spots… … if you ask to me why I do that … .. I will answer, my money is for trip tickets next year … ..hahaha.

Manila City Hall

I continued to walk about 500m to north along Taft Avenue to Manila City Hall. Oh yes, the Mayor of Manila works in this building. No long time sightseeing there, just taked some pictures around it because I’ve been impatient to come in the area of Intramuros.

IMG-20160102-WA0014

Intramuros Wall

After leaving Manila City Hall, I started to enter the gate of Intramuros. Clearly, the fort wall surrounds the old area of Intramuros. Amazing, in the fortress of Intramuros old town which more than 400 years old was used for government activities and people’s daily life.

This is one of many entrance Intramuros gates and it is nearest from Manila City Hall. About 300m walk along Victoria Street on west side of Manila City Hall. In Intramuros gate, I attached by Pedicab (Philippines tricycle rickshaw). Because of intend to walk, I rejected their offering. I let the driver give up for following me.

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San Agustin Church and Museum

I just admire the European style around the church, I didn’t come in to the museum, because tourists have to pay to see the museum.

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After satisfied, I had a lunch to 7-Eleven near the church. Spent enough for 42 pesos (Rp 12,600), I got lunch for the first day in Philippines. Here’s the details: 13 pesos (Rp 3,900) to pay 500ml mineral water and 29 pesos (Rp 8,700) for a lunch package of rice and tuna omlet was produced by Manila 7-Eleven. I noticed that in every 7-Eleven I visited in Manila, there was a mobile charging station, but the electricity was sold for 5 Pesos (Rp 1,500) and there was also a small machine labeled CLiQQ. I don’t know how to use it but every visitor who comes always come first to this machine. Some point are gived to loyal customers from it.

Palacio Del Gobernador Building

Located on General Luna Street in Southwest Plaza De Rome. This building is used for some offices. Two of them are the Philippines Election Commission Office and the administrative office of the Intramuros region.

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Cathedral of Manila

If you are at Plaza De Rome and facing the Palacio del Gobernador then this cathedral is on the left of you. Yesss, It is Manila’s cathedral……….. classic certainly.

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Bureau of Treasury Building

The building is facing the Palacio Del Gobernador each other and separated by Plaza De Rome in the middle. This elongated white building is the Philippines tax and financial office. So …. Palacio Del Gobernador Building, the Cathedral of Manila and the Bureau of Treasury Buliding surround a park called Plaza De Rome.

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Fort Santiago

From Plaza De Rome, I walked to Fort Santiago about 300 meters from it. Yes, the name is Fort … surely this is a old building of Manila city defense that was built when the Spanish colonial govern. When I went there, Fort Santiago had a celebration event, because of crowded, I just joined in. I’ve made itinerary to spend 80 pesos (Rp 24,000) for ticket, but I din’t spend out money for sightseeing around the Fort. I walked along Plaza Moriones for about 200m before reach Fort Santiago gate.

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Due to the late afternoon and drizzling, I decided to go to hostel by a 10 peso fare jeepney (Rp 3,000) to Central Terminal. I was dropped by driver across the Taft Avenue and must walked down to underground crossing Taft Avenue to reach Central Terminal. Crossing the tunnel  under Taft Avenue was actually terrible because of dull wall and quiet, but I felt comfortable because a security was assigned to guard the tunnel. He was provided a small table and chair for sit. Funny….a tunnel with a security…. hihihi.

From Central Terminal, I ride LRT Line 1 (yellow Line) and get off at Quirino Ave Terminal, just paid 12 pesos (Rp 3,600). Then continued by pedicab for 80 pesos (Rp 24.000) to go to Where2Next Hostel.